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Friday, February 20, 2009

Rider Basketball: Record Breakdown

With the loss to Madison, the Riders once again will end OCC play without any piece of a league title. The loss tonight does bring up another interesting discussion dealing with our overall success in the OCC.

We've been successful in the conference for sure, winning at least 10 league games in each of the past 4 seasons, needing only a win versus Lexington next weekend to secure a 5th straight season of at least 10 league wins.

But in looking a little closer, our success, in my opinion, is due in large part to beating up on the bottom half of the league, and winning the occasional game against the league's top teams.

Here's what I mean......

5-1 in non-conf games.
7-1 against West Holmes, Wooster, CF and Ashland.
4-2 against Senior, Lexington & Madison.

3-3 in non-conf games.
7-1 against WH, Woo, CF and Ashland.
3-3 against Senior, Lex and Madison.

6-0 in non-conf games.
8-0 against WH, Woo, CF and Ashland.
2-4 against Senior, Lex and Madison.

4-2 in non-conf games.
6-2 against WH, Woo, CF and Ashland.
4-2 against Senior, Lex and Madison.

2 & 2 in non-conf games.
8 & 0 against WH, Woo, CF and Ashland.
1 & 4 against Senior, Lex and Madison.

Totals over the past 5 seasons...
We're 20-8 (71.4%) in non-conference games.
We're 36-4 (90%) against West Holmes, Wooster, Clear Fork and Ashland (one loss to each team)
We're 14-15 (48.2%) against Lexington, Madison and Mansfield Senior.

What's my point??

Only's almost impossible for us to win less than 12 games per season. We're going to pick on the bottom half of the league for 6 or 7 wins, throw in the olbigatory opening game win versus a lower level Akron City team, and the cupcake win at the Smitty Classic and you're looking at 9 or 10 wins. If you split the other 4 non-conference games, that's 12 the very worst, and this isn't even counting any wins versus Senior, Lexington or Madison. If you split with 2 of those 3 teams, you're sitting at 14-6 for the season.

I've heard the criticism of "how can you be unhappy, we're winning 14 games a season." I can't argue that, but when those wins are coming against the weakest teams on our schedule, and we're constantly losing the big games, it gets very tiresome.

My larger point...talent will only get us so far. It's good enough against the bad conference teams, and the bad non-conf. opponents, but when it comes to the top tier OCC teams and tournament teams, we need more than talent, and it shows in our performance.

In games versus the top 3 OCC teams and our last 5 years of tournament basketball, we're a dead even 20 wins and 20 losses....a .500 team. And in games against the eventual OCC champ in each specific season, we're only 3-9.

Some questions to ponder.....

Are we not to be considered a top tier OCC team? I guess not, we've never won or shared a title and our losing record against the top tier teams, backs up the statement. I think goes hand in hand with us not being a serious player in the Canton district either.

Has the overall talent in our program dipped? I think so, but honestly, it couldn't get any higher than the success the program enjoyed in the mid 90's, so while a drop off was almost inevitable, it's still tough to see our teams not reach their potential. I certainly think we had and still have plenty of talent though. In my opinion, it has more to do with the utilization of our talent and overall motivation than it does not having enough talent.

Is the OCC too "big" of a league for Orrville? I don't think so. The travel stinks, but the competition is very even and I think every other school in the OCC would say that for a school our size, we do more than hold our own across all sports.

Just some thoughts...feel free to agree or disagree.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I think you make some very good points. Yes, Orrville definitely belongs in the OCC. They more than hold their own. So, I would NOT say that the OCC is too big. In regards to your (Orrville's) talent, you are so blessed! Even though your talent level has gone down, you are still miles ahead of anyone else in the area. I can't imagine how spoiled WE would be if we had your talent. But we don't and probably never will, so we depend on great coaching and the kids wanting it, and we continue to compete.